Mixing - Analog vs. Digital

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by jammster, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Hello again RO,

    It seems we all have an interest in recording, that is something that unites us to this forum.

    Most of us know the benefits from analog v.s. digital. But what about mixing?
    Digital can be very silent and super clean, however I miss the quality in tracks that I have done in the past with analog desks. It seems to be a different sound even though in theory its not.

    I want to ditch my Bheryspringer mx9000 badly, I know a quality desk is not cheap, however I have been thinking about possibly getting a Soundcraft desk after having such wonderful experiences with them in the past. Since I have such a limited budget I was looking at the LX7 II model. It looks very nice for the money.

    I have been in the digital domain, using my DAW now for so long, wondering if a quality analog mixer would be a welcome addition to all of the outboard gear I already utilize.

    So, those of you who use a analog desk may know more than I since I have been away for so long.

    I know this thread may bring a lot of bias, so lets keep it focused on our ears.

    Thanks for your help, Bret
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I really believe that there is a difference in phase timing between digital mixing & analog mixing. Something about time domain multiplexing rubs me the wrong way. Not to say that I haven't heard good mixes coming off of computer-based ITB mixing. Of course I have. It's sort of like underwear. And feminine hygiene. Tampons or pads. Jockeys or boxers. We all have our preferences and many of us have used both. You Know, jockeys & tampons. But I'm not saying, much. TMI I think?

    Analog summing buses do differ. But their timing remains the same. Your Beringer probably doesn't have the headroom that you remember from the Sound Craft. And so you miss that. Although there are other ways to mimic similar headroom on your Beringer at the expense of signal to noise ratio. But I would rather have the transients since most rock-and-roll is already noisy by nature, mostly. You need only to run your Beringer mixing bus at a lower level. You want the headroom. That's what you miss. OMG! A little more noise. Heavens forbid.

    Give me head room or give me death.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Don't put your money down on a Soundcraft LX7 until you have auditioned an A+H Zed-R16. I've used a 24-channel LX7 extensively (it's the in-house desk at one of the venues I regularly do live sound and recordings at), but I've recently had separate use of a Zed-R16 and have been impressed by what sound quality and features you get for your money. A full analog desk with integrated 16/18-channel Firewire interface, AND it sounds better than the LX7. If you can't see yourself needing more than 16 channels, the R16 would suit your situation perfectly. Replay your recorded tracks digitally into the R16, mix in analog with all the outboard gear you want and return the digitized stereo mix back to the computer. I don't often champion particular pieces of gear, but I think more people ought to try this one.
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Thanks both Remy and Boswell for your replies.

    Remy, thanks so much for your view of mixing. I know there is something going on, just can't put a finger on it easily. I most certainly hear a difference from when I used the desk, and now when I use the computer alone for mixdown.

    In my ideal, I would send all of the tracks on separate outputs to the desk and then use the fades on the desk to go to a master recorder, usually my Dat recorders. I guess, what I am trying to say is that I have become lazy and do all my mixes and fixes on the DAW in the computer now. And, funny how it is. I listen to my old mixes and something is going on here.

    Remy, I know I have read that you have acquired a neve console ( drool ...), I'm sure you enjoy mixing with it too! My BerrySpringer mx9000 (pun intended) sits upstairs under a cover so my kittens don't sleep on it near the studio, seems like they enjoy sitting on my racks, speakers and keyboards too.

    I will be getting the mx9000 set up again soon, willing to give it one more shot before selling it for a bargain price. I really don't like that its getting old and has noise in the master control room potentiometer, also don't like that it takes up so much room. I may try mounting it more vertically to save space, but mainly to keep my kitties from playing on it, thereby getting dust all over it.

    But over all, I agree. The headroom is what I am missing on my mx9000

    Boswell, did you know there has been improvements apon the LX7 design? The LX7 II is an improved version with more headroom and costs about half as much as the zed-r16. Also, does not have any digital conversion or midi control like the zed r16. Mainly just seems like a decent desk for what I am looking for, not $3000 either. Not that its a bad deal, I'd rather buy a desk for analog only, just my preference. I did take a look at the SSL X-Desk and have decided that it is just too expensive for eight faders/sixteen channels/two sends, with the need for special cables and the like. However, I am sure it has plenty of headroom with a decent noise floor.
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